Reason for renewed optimism for beleaguered Hood despite defeat
Robin Hood 1 Hamilton Parish 2
Stand-in coach Barry Tyson is adamant there are signs of encouragement for beleaguered Robin Hood despite his side falling to a narrow defeat against Hamilton Parish at Goose Gosling Field on Thursday night.
Still reeling from the resignation of former head coach Danté Leverock just a week ago, Hood gave a spirited display, albeit in another loss, with second-half goals from Macquille Walker and substitute Jermial Steede proving decisive before Niyan Outerbridge grabbed a late consolation.
But in what has been a nightmare campaign for Hood, Tyson believes there is reason for renewed optimism, as he took the opportunity to highlight the emergence of 16-year-old Luke Fulton, who enjoyed an assured debut belying his age at the heart of defence.
“With Danté leaving it left us in a bit of a pickle, so I’m just stepping in for this game,” said Tyson, who was supposed to be included among the Hood squad but was forced to out through injury.
“I thought we were in the game for majority of the game and although we fell off for periods of the second half, I was definitely encouraged by what I saw and if we keep working hard we can definitely turn things round.
“I thought Luke was unbelievable, particularity as he only turned 16 yesterday [Thursday]. If he keeps playing like that and progressing, he shouldn’t be on island for too long. He looked comfortable in men’s football and he’s certainly got a bright future. His performance was very encouraging for us.
“If we can keep this group of players together, I’m sure we can find stability for the rest of the season. We have some more players to come back as well and so it is onwards and upwards for the club as a whole.”
The visitors looked most likely to break with the deadlock in the early stages with Jordan Outerbridge curling narrowly wide, while Walker also called Timmy Figureido into action, who made a smart save low down after the striker forced his way into the area
The Hood goalkeeper had to be alert again to deny Aaron Nelson in 26th minute, reacting well to tip the midfielder’s stinging strike round the post.
That pressure continued as Nelson came agonisingly close to opening the scoring moments before the interval, with his first-time strike from the edge of the area this time beating Figureido but not the upright as the ball clipped the cross bar on its way over.
The hosts started the second half on the front foot and finally tested Parish goalkeeper Nigel Burgess five minutes after the restart as Liam Evans broke through the midfield before forcing the custodian into a smart save low down to his left.
Parish responded strongly enjoying a prolonged period of pressure in which both Jarye Bean and Outerbridge both tested Figureido’s handling with long-range efforts as the goalkeeper stood up to the test on both occasions.
However, there was nothing he could do on the hour mark as the pressure finally told. The lively Bean broke down the right-hand side before picking out Walker inside the area who swept the ball home with a first-time right-footed effort.
The visitors doubled their advantage in the 72nd minute as substitute Steede beat the offside trap down the right flank before drilling a low effort beyond the outstretched reach of Figureido and into the bottom-left corner.
To their credit, Hood refused to lay down and grabbed a deserved consolation in the dying moments when substitute Outerbridge, who saw his initial effort well saved by Burgess, reacted quickly to guide a headed effort into the back of the net.
“I’m pleased with the three points; hopefully we can finally build some momentum and find some consistency,” said Parish head coach Sergio Goater, whose side bounced back from a 2-0 defeat against Devonshire Cougars.
“We need to start collecting points more regularly. I feel like we’ve been unfortunate at times this season and so hopefully we can build on this now.”
Robin Hood: N Outerbridge 90
Hamilton Parish: M Walker 60, J Steede 72
Robin Hood (4-5-1): T Figureido 7 - C Douglas 6, L Fulton 7, N Massa 6, M Hollis 7 (W Noriega 75) - L Evans 7, K Naylor 7, A Ivo 6 (sub: A Paynter 75), N Edwards 7 (sub A Ebbin 75), R Smith 6 (sub: N Outerbridge 63 7) - E Outerbridge 6. Substitutes not used: D Simmons, D Brangman, B Goodon.
Hamilton Parish (4-5-1): N Burgess 7 - Q Glasford 6, K Wade 7, M Hill 7, M Turner 6 (sub J Steede 45min 7) - Z Burgess 6, Q Outerbridge (sub: S Mcilittrick 87) 7, A Nelson 7 (sub: K Richardson 87), J Bean 7, J Outerbridge 7, -M Walker 7 Substitutes not used: S Burgess, C Lindo, D Mcilittrick Booked: Wade.
Referee: N Goldson (Jamaica)